Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

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Applying the Modern Business Plan to Tradeshow Marketing

The ‘modern business plan’ was hatched on a blog post by Seth Godin. I was a recent enrollee in Godin’s The Marketing Seminar, where at one point we were referred to the post which breaks down the five elements of what he feels are the important parts of a modern business plan: truth, assertions, alternatives, people and money.

It’s also possible to apply that thinking to how you approach tradeshow marketing.

The truth of tradeshow marketing would be the facts and figures of the specific show(s) that you plan to participate in. How many people attend? What percentage of decision-makers and influencers are among the attendees? Who are the competitors/exhibitors?

Assertions might include your thoughts on what you believe you know that is not necessarily supported by data. What new products are you launching that might be similar to new products from competitors? What types of marketing tactics and strategies are those competitors using? This is where you state what you believe to be true, although you might not be able to prove it.

Alternatives: ­This is where you play the “what if” game. What if things go wrong? What is your plan B? What if you get lucky by meeting the exact prospect that you didn’t anticipate? What if your top salesperson is poached by a competitor? Hey, anything can happen. At least opening your mind to some of those possibilities gives you a chance to chew them over.

People: who are your best people and how can you best use them? Where are your weak spots and how can you improve with them? Do you need to acquire people to get your tradeshow department to run like a clock and not like a Rube Goldberg machine?

Finally, money: Budgeting, logistical costs, personnel costs. Return on investment, cost of samples. You know the drill. But are your numbers accurate? And did you run the calculations a year later after the show so that you actually know what your return on investment really is?

What is your Return on Objective? Thanks to the Exhibition Guy Stephan Murtagh!

There are any number of ways of looking at your business or marketing plan, but taking this approach helps to clarify several issues at once. Give it a try!

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, July 1, 2019: Friendship

There are as many different kinds of friendships as there are friends. Some are business-related, some are school or college-related, others are just friendships you struck up from people you met randomly. This episode of TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee peeks at friendships.

Here’s a link to 50 Inspiring Quotes About Friendship from Inc.com.

And this week’s ONE GOOD THING is the Mueller Report.

Top Ten All-Time Most Viewed TradeshowGuy Blog Posts

I got an email the other day from someone whose newsletter I had just subscribed to, and in the introduction email there was a link to the top 5 most read blog posts on her blog. That’s when an idea light lit up over my head and gave me an idea for a blog post (as a blogger, you’re always looking for ideas, right?).

Next thing you know I was pawing through my Google Analytics account to find out what were the most-viewed posts on this blog. These are the ones that floated to the top, for whatever reason. It’s all organic. I don’t advertise, but I do share links now and then on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. On occasion there might be a link here from Pinterest. Or another blog.

This blog is aging. It’s over ten years old, having been launched in November, 2008. There are almost 1000 posts.

One more note: the analytics breakdown shows the front page as “most-viewed” and a couple of pages (not posts) showed up in the top ten as well, including the Contact Me page and the We Accept Blog Submissions page. But beyond that, here are the top ten blog posts since the beginning of the blog (in traditional countdown order):

Number Ten: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Exhibit RFPs. I created a one-page sheet on what should go into an Exhibit RFP (Request for Proposal), and posted it on Cheatography.com, a site for thousands of cheat sheets. Kind of fun. They regularly sent me emails telling me how many times it was downloaded (500! 1000! 1500!). Not sure how accurate that is, but obviously it’s been seen by a lot of people. From September 2017.

Number Nine: Breaking the Ice: How to Attract Tradeshow Visitors. I referenced a number of techniques taught by tradeshow colleague Andy Saks for this article, which appeared in December 2015.

Number Eight: 23 Pre-Show Marketing Tactics, Promotions and Ideas. A laundry list that was posted in October 2009 when the blog was not even a year old.

Number Seven: How to Build a Tradeshow-Specific Landing Page. Inspired by Portland’s Digimarc, it’s a look at the steps you can use to put together an online site specifically to interact with potential tradeshow booth visitors. From December 2017.

Number Six: Write More Orders at Tradeshows by Replacing Paper With Digital Technology. One of two guest posts on the Top Ten list, this is from Sarah Leung of Handshake. April 2015.

Number Five: Tradeshow Debriefing Questions. Another oldie but goodie, this post from September 2009 guides you through the after-show info-gathering process.

Number Four: Virtual Reality for Tradeshows. You’ve seen them at shows: people wearing VR goggles. Is it worth it? A brief exploration, from June 2016.

Number Three: Exhibit vs. Booth vs. Stand. They’re called different things in different parts of the world, so I took a whack at trying to explain it. Just last summer in July 2018.

Number Two: 10 Skills Every Tradeshow Staffer Should Have. Margaret Coleback of Vantage Advertising LLC dashed of a great list for staffers, which appeared in January 2015.

Aaaaand, at Number ONE: SWOT Analysis for Tradeshows. It still surprises me that this post gets a whopping 3.95% of all of the traffic on the site. At the time I wrote it I had been spending a fair amount of time with a friend who was going through school to get his degree in marketing, and one thing that we discussed in depth was the SWOT Analysis. S=Strengths; W=Weaknesses; O=Opportunities; T=Threats. It’s a great exercise to work through in regards to your tradeshow marketing appearances. Check it out. It’s from February 2015.

Got any favorites?


TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, April 22, 2019: The Marketing Seminar

I’ve alluded to Seth Godin’s The Marketing Seminar a few times in recent blog posts and podcasts/vlogs. In this episode I discuss the online seminar in more detail – without giving away much at all. It’s a great course, and I highly recommend it. Check the below for some bonus Seth Godin material.

Seth Godin bonus Material:

Rare Q&A Video, a New Workshop and a path forward for entrepreneurs (blog post and a nearly two-hour video).

Brian Koppleman’s The Moment podcast: January 2019 interview with Seth Godin.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: The NBA Playoffs.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, April 8, 2019: Tom Beard

What does it take to be sustainable in regards to your tradeshow marketing program? Regarding your tradeshow exhibit booth? In today’s episode of the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I chat with Tom Beard, National Sales Manager of Eco-Systems Sustainable Displays:

Check out the original interview with BJ Enright of Tradeshow Logic on NAB Show Cares here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: the new Kamasi Washington album “Heaven and Earth.” Here’s his website.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, March 25, 2019: Dave Scott

For this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee podcast-slash-vlog, I thought it’d be fun to chat with a longtime radio broadcaster that I’ve crossed paths with a few times during my radio career. Dave Scott started in radio about the same time I did – the mid-70s – and has tales to tell. So that’s fun.

But one of the reasons I wanted to talk to him was to get more information about his new podcast, Embrace the Change, which you dan find at his website, DaveScottNow.com.

Check out Dave’s podcast – I think you’ll enjoy it!

And this weeks’ ONE GOOD THING: Ichiro Suzuki, who just retired from his Hall of Fame baseball career.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, March 18, 2019: Expo West Recap

Natural Products Expo West is in the books for another year. About 85,000 attendees, 3,600+ exhibitors made for a crazy, chaotic and ultimately fun week in Anaheim. From the Airbnb in Santa Ana where I caught a little down time between long and busy days to the early morning free breakfast and the after-show Oregon party at McCormick and Schmick’s, it was a helluva week. Take a look:

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Paul McCartney’s album “Memory Almost Full.”

TradeshowGuy Exhibits: Our Expo West Projects

This year, our company TradeshowGuy Exhibits, had a great showing at Natural Products Expo West. In fact, our best ever, as we introduced three new clients and five new projects. Let’s take a look:

Schmidt’s Naturals

Schmidt’s Naturals has been a client for a few years, but this year they stepped up from a 10×20 custom exhibit to a brand new 10×40 custom exhibit. The brand, which was purchased in late 2017 by Unilever, has seen fast growth for an expanding product line that was created basically out of a Portland garage a decade ago.

The new 10×40 custom booth features backlit panels from side to side, a generous closet and a pair of LED-highlighted display podiums with storage. The design is clean with lots of white space, and is set off by colorful iconic custom flooring.

Wildbrine

Wildbrine’s designer worked with our designer to come up with a clean and colorful 10×20 design that featured a bright green design for the flooring, and bright colors for the back wall and side return walls. There is an inset shelving unit in the closet, lit by white LEDs and a set of RGB custom-controlled lights.

Organixx

Another custom 10×20, this one highlighted by a large mounted monitor, a big lightbox and a custom product display. Two similar counters for drink machines and literature and an LED-highlighted round charging table topped it off, along with a white oak printed rollable vinyl floor.

Hop Tea

Hop Tea, out of Boulder, Colorado, is a company founded last May! They found us online and we partnered with Salem’s TimbrandMoss to create a custom reclaimed barnwood back wall and counters to serve their brewed tea through kegerators. The back wall accommodated a rented refrigerator. The front counter was highlighted by a burnt-in logo. We also created a cut-out vinyl-wrapped 3D version of thei rlogo to hang from the back wall. Their product won a Nexty award for Best New Ready-to-Drink Beverage. And their exhibit went over really well in the Hilton Hot New Products hall!

Hyland’s Homeopathic

I go back over a decade with Hyland’s. The company I worked for back in 2005, Interpretive Exhibits (since closed due to retirement), designed and built a unique koa wood 10×20 exhibit. They’ve used it ever since – except for this year. They wanted a brighter, simpler approach, and we helped put together a large 8′ x 20′ single-photo pop-up back wall. Striking!

Graphic Updates: Bob’s Red Mill, Wedderspoon and Dave’s Killer Bread/Alpine Valley

Long-time clients Bob’s Red Mill, Wedderspoon and Dave’s Killer Bread had us do some updates. For Bob’s Red Mill, we coordinated the creation of a 42″ touchscreen video unit in the alcove portion of their booth, along with graphic updates throughout the exhibit.

For Dave’s Killer Bread, new graphics included a stark look at second-chance employment for convicted felons on their front counter, and the addition of a video monitor which looped a short video on the issue.

For Wedderspoon Manuka Honey, some more graphic updates. All great clients to work with – and glad to have them all!


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